Life is extremely challenging, and stress is a daily by-product.
All of us deal with stress differently. Some coping behaviors are helpful; take exercise, for instance. Others are not, such as excessive eating, binge drinking, or reliance on drugs. Unfortunately, bad habits can also develop that “help” alleviate stress but create even more problems. Among the most common are an addiction to pornography, gambling, or cheating on one’s spouse.
But similar to death and taxes, stress is a constant. Although levels may ebb and flow as crises come and go, stress is your wrestling partner always outside the ring quietly waiting for the next round.
As an experienced “pro-wrestler,” here is my method of combating stress, with hopes that it might offer you some relief as well. The method is a “mind game” that I play with the Lord many times a day.
First and foremost, to even play the “game,” you must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you don’t, stop reading and start praying for a relationship with Him. I don’t mean to be blunt but faith in, and a relationship with, your Heavenly Father is key to successfully playing the “mind game” that leads to successful stress management.
Second, recognize that we can never fully “conquer” stress. Humans will always be challenged, and stress acts as a motivator to help us persevere through the issue or crisis at hand.
Now, harnessing the power of the Lord, let’s begin.
Think of a situation that is causing you stress and say aloud, or to yourself, “Trust in the Lord” or “Jesus, I trust in you.” It’s that simple, even if it sounds superficial.
The words alone are simple, but the concept is complex because you must truly believe those words with all your heart, soul and mind. And if you do, then saying or thinking them is extremely comforting, instantly.
I can’t emphasize enough that after saying, “Jesus, I trust in you” or “Trust in the Lord” you must believe, without a scintilla of doubt, that He has the situation under control and He will work it out according to His will. This foundational principle of Christian faith is also one of the New Testament’s most popular passages:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The operative words are “all things work together” because often His plan works out differently and sometimes even better than what you asked for or imagined.
“Let go and let God” is a traditional way of expressing the concept. Meanwhile, we can’t just sit back and “trust the Lord” without hard work, persistence, and continuous prayer to help resolve whatever is causing the stress or anxiety.
Getting personal, when I previously wrote about the “mind game” that I play with the Lord, here is how He plays the game with me.
When something specific causes me to feel anxious or stressed, I think, “Trust in the Lord,” then, literally, I see and feel myself being yanked back from the edge by His invisible force. (And since I say this numerous times a day and get yanked back every time, I should have bruises.) The problem is because I am human, I don’t trust the Lord all the time. Therefore, I am destined to continue playing the “game,” but each time I feel His love and presence trying to teach me to trust Him more.
Surely, my “game” experience will differ from what you see or feel because He created, knows, and loves each of us individually. Therefore, be prepared for a unique experience.
Finally, trusting the Lord is a concept that appears throughout the Bible in divinely inspired passages that penetrate the soul and stand the test of time.
Here are four of my favorites with a long list for you to contemplate.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2).
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3).
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun (Psalm 37:5-6).
Myra Adams is a conservative writer and producer. She is also Executive Director of SignFromGod.org a Shroud of Turin education ministry advising the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. about a groundbreaking Shroud of Turin exhibition targeted to open in January 2021. Contact her at [email protected] Twitter @MyraKAdams